Low FODMAPs

CAUTION! I am not a professional nutritionist or dietitian, I am just a low FODMAPer following the advice of my dietitian. Some foods I tolerate might be a trigger in your case. Like black beans. I have been able to re-introduce a few legumes that is moderate in FODMAPs, but not low in them. I always try to encourage a limit for these foods in my recipes. Some of my recipes are NOT suitable on the elimination phase (but maybe later on the maintenance phase!).

A low FODMAP diet aims at reducing short-chain fermentable sugars as a method to treat IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The low FODMAP diet is not a new hoax, below is a list of scientific papers providing evidence about the effectiveness of a low FODMAP diet in treating IBS.

But why a diet low in FODMAPs? Eating a low FODMAP diet is not nessecary for people in general. The low FODMAP diet is specifically designed for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The aim of the diet is to reduce four specific types of short-chained sugars which ferments in the bowel, triggering IBS symptoms by increasing the water transit through the bowel and producing excess gas. Not all sugars does this to people with IBS, only Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. The first letters in these words together makes the acronym F O D M a P. Oligo-saccharides is found in some wholegrains, vegetables and legumes (e.g. onion, garlic, beans, wheat, rye, barley). Di-saccharides equals lactose, and is found in dairy. Mono-saccharides equals fructose, and is found in fruits. Limiting these FODMAPs improves symptom control for 80% of the patients with IBS according to studies from the MONASH university in Australia.


A low FODMAP intervention starts with an elimination phase for 1-6 weeks followed by re-introduction of foods from the four FODMAP categories, exploring which FODMAPs you can tolerate in reasonable amounts, and which FODMAPs you have to avoid or limit heavily.

It is always best to do a low FODMAPs intervention with a registered dietitian, who knows FODMAPs! It´s way too easy to try yourself and do it wrong. It´s also important to really re-introduce higher FODMAP-foods so you don´t stay on the diet for life. Re-introducing a reasonable amount of higher FODMAP foods back to your diet when you have learnt about your tolerances and weaknesses is beneficial for your gut bacteria.
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Although a low FODMAPs intervention diet doesn´t need to be plant-based or vegan, it can be. On this blog I focus on plant-based cooking, so the lists below will also center on low vs. high FODMAP plant foods.

Low and high FODMAP food examples

Example on food suitable on a plant-based low FODMAP diet:

White potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, white rice, millet, polenta, rice pasta, corn pasta, not-to-ripe bananas (one a day!), blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, zucchini, eggplant, kale, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers (all colours), chili peppers, brazil nuts, all seeds (pumpkin, chia, flax, sunflower, etc), peanuts, peanut butter, tofu (firm, not silk!), tamari, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, tempeh, seitan, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, seaweed (like nori, wakame, kelp/kombu), all herbs and spices.

Examples on food to avoid on a plant-based low FODMAP diet:

Garlic, onions, rye, wheat, barley, kidney beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, apples, pears, mangoes, water melons, dates, dried fruit in general, cashew nuts, seasoning mixes (including broths) containing garlic powder and onion powder.

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Greater detail to come! This site is under construction. In the mean time I recommend you to read the scientific literature about treating IBS with a low FODMAP diet.

Scientific papers:

Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2011.01162.x. Epub 2011 May 25. PubMed [citation]PMID:21615553

Food intolerance in functional bowel disorders.

Gibson PR. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Apr;26 Suppl 3:128-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.06650.x. Review.PubMed [citation]PMID:21443725

Food: The Forgotten Factor in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Shanti Eswaran, MD, Jan Tack, MD, PhD, William D. Chey, MD, AGAF. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. Volume 40, Issue 1 , Pages 141-162, March 2011

Diarrhoea during enteral nutrition is predicted by the poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrate (FODMAP) content of the formula.

Halmos EP, Muir JG, Barrett JS, Deng M, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Oct;32(7):925-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04416.x. PubMed [citation]PMID:20670219

Manipulation of dietary short chain carbohydrates alters the pattern of gas production and genesis of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.

Ong DK, Mitchell SB, Barrett JS, Shepherd SJ, Irving PM, Biesiekierski JR, Smith S, Gibson PR, Muir JG. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Aug;25(8):1366-73. PubMed [citation]PMID:20659225

Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach.

Gibson PR, Shepherd SJ. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;25(2):252-8. Review. PubMed [citation]PMID:20136989

Dietary poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates increase delivery of water and fermentable substrates to the proximal colon.

Barrett JS, Gearry RB, Muir JG, Irving PM, Rose R, Rosella O, Haines ML, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Apr;31(8):874-82. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PubMed [citation]PMID:20102355

The FODMAP diet for irritable bowel syndrome: food fad or roadmap to a new treatment paradigm?

Rangnekar AS, Chey WD. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):383-6. Epub 2009 May 29. No abstract available. PubMed [citation]PMID:19482108

Reduction of dietary poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs) improves abdominal symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease-a pilot study.

Gearry RB, Irving PM, Barrett JS, Nathan DM, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR. J Crohns Colitis. 2009 Feb;3(1):8-14. Epub 2008 Dec 6. PubMed [citation]PMID:21172242

Comparison of the prevalence of fructose and lactose malabsorption across chronic intestinal disorders.

Barrett JS, Irving PM, Shepherd SJ, Muir JG, Gibson PR. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Jul 1;30(2):165-74. Epub 2009 Apr 15. PubMed [citation]PMID:19392860

Dietary triggers of abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: randomized placebo-controlled evidence.

Shepherd SJ, Parker FC, Muir JG, Gibson PR. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jul;6(7):765-71. Epub 2008 May 5. PubMed [citation]PMID:18456565